Unit 1 Native Americans

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    Migration Theories Inquiry Directions

    Migration Theories Inquiry - Assignment Overview

    In this inquiry assignment, you will read a short article and watch several short videos. When instructed, you will answer guide questions to help you understand how, when, and why archaeologists and other scientists believe the first people migrated to North and South America. You may need to pause the videos as you watch so that you can answer the guide questions thoroughly.  

    When your guide questions have been answered, you will complete a graphic organizer to help organize your ideas. Then, you will complete a project where you explain the various theories discussed in the article and videos about human migration to North and South America.

    Assignment Directions

    First, watch this introductory video on the First Americans. 


    Second, watch this short video on Carbon Dating to learn how scientists can tell the approximate age of animal and human bones. 


    Third, read the Migration Theories article and answer the accompanying guide questions. 

    Fourth, watch this time-lapse video that shows the change in sea levels between Siberia (Asia) and Alaska (North America). 

    During the last Ice Age, about 21,000 years ago, global sea level was approximately 120 m (400 ft) lower than today. The Bering Land Bridge existed as a vast tundra plain connecting Asia and North America. As the world's glaciers and ice sheets melted over thousands of years, rising sea level flooded the land bridge — blocking migration routes for animals and humans.The land bridge animation below is based on the best available digital information, and reveals large-scale patterns of shifting coastlines and environments as the land bridge evolved. 


    Fifth, watch these three videos on human migration to North and South America, and answer the accompanying guide questions on your notes sheets to piece together the likely routes the first Americans used to reach North and South America. Pause the videos when answering the  guide questions.

    Rethinking Migration Theories


    Evidence for Early Migration


    Coastal Migration


    Sixth, complete the Migration Theory Inquiry Graphic Organizer to organize all of this new information on when the migrations likely occurred, where they likely occurred, and what evidence archaeologists and other scientists have found to support their beliefs.  

    Final Assignment

    After you have completed all of the assignments above, complete the Final Project on the 11 X 17 paper provided in class. A copy of the Migration Theories Inquiry Project Booklet may be downloaded under Related Files, below.

    Related Files

      pdf Migration Theories Inquiry Booklet (pdf file - 316 KB)

      pdf Migration Theories Inquiry Project Rubric (pdf file - 50 KB)

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